I’m convinced that going through one breakup means going through all the breakups. At least for me, when I experience the expiration of a relationship, my mind can’t help but revisit all the expirations.
I’m reminded of past rejections. I’m transported to the day I had to move out of a shared apartment. I remember having to separate the dogs. I remember drunken nights, texting about giving it another shot. I recall the moments of desperation.
Lots of icky moments come flooding in all at once.
Other than the fear of not having familiarity, I believe another reason why people put off ending a relationship is because of the inevitability of this exact pain. The idea of having to go through the inner turmoil of all the past breakups is too daunting to accept. And you know what? I get it! It sucks. Bad.
But this period of “breakup re-visitation” is not forever. It doesn’t last. It’s something that must be felt fully in order for it to be able to pass through you, but when it does, you will feel so much better now that you’re happy, free and on to better things.
In November of 2016 I entered a relationship that felt like a dream. Everything I imagined I wanted in a man arrived to me in a beautiful package; I was head-over-heels-twitterpatted. In March 2017 we decided that it wasn’t going to work out. It all happened so fast: the infatuation, love, excitement, confusion and breakup. There hasn’t been much time for processing, but as I’ve been publicly sharing this experience over Instagram I’ve been realizing how many others are going through the exact same thing.
For that reason, I want to give you some tools for navigating through this blundering current. If you feel confused, lost and hurt, it’s okay. Feel your feelings, they are there to teach you something. But also, take note of these 10 things to do if you’re experiencing a breakup.
Your journal will become your best friend during this time if you trust the process. People fall into believing that journaling means to write out your feelings eloquently. While sometimes that is exactly what you want to do, other times you actually need to express anger. Frustration. Fear. Word vomit. Nonsense. There is no black and white when it comes to journaling. This particular breakup made me angry. The love that was so good, followed by a breakup that was so blunt…well, it left me upset and angry. “Why? Whyyyy!?”
I think anger gets a bad rep and so people try to force themselves to be sad instead, since that’s more “socially acceptable.” F*ck that y’all. If you feel anger, feel it to heal it.
Eventually, after you feel what you need to feel, I invite you to get to a place where you wish your ex-partner good vibes. For all of my ex-partners, I truly hope they find great happiness, joy and love with another person. And you know what has helped me to get to that place? I take the time to see how we were both contributing to the relationship’s expiration. There is no bad person // good person. Relationships are a wonderful way to get more information about what you like and don’t like. The key here is to actually take time to figure out what that is (more on that in a minute).
2. BUY A PLANT BABY
Mother Nature is a beautiful way to get back in touch with your femininity, longing and nourishment. There’s something about tending and taking care of life that’s an innate desire in us. It’s in our bodies. It’s in our blood. Most of us have a natural desire to nurture another, and if you don’t have a human or an animal to do that with, get a plant! Not only that, but it’s alive and loving you in return…just in a different way.
3. GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT
This might be the most valuable thing you can do. After your relationship dissolves, don’t push all the lessons aside. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about what you want and need? What did you like? Where do you need to work on yourself? Write all of this down in a journal and keep it in mind when you begin to date again. This is a great tool to use if you want to “manifest” this partner but don’t become attached to it. Be clear, but not rigid. I have a list that I build, delete, edit and work on as I continue to go through new relationships. Every experience brings more clarity on both what I need to work on within myself and what I want in a partner.
4. TAKE YOURSELF ON DATES
Just because you are no longer going out on dates doesn’t mean you no longer should go out on dates! Take yourself out to breakfast, yoga, the movies, coffee shops and wine bars. The other night I grabbed my book and went to a brewery. It was actually such a great experience because not only did I get to enjoy a brew (something I would do with a partner) but I also got to meet lots of new people. Sitting at the bar made me very available for people to talk to if they wanted to say hello, and I ended up making some new friends. I also take myself to coffee shops to do work, and I’ll dress up for it as if I was meeting someone new. I’m taking myself out, which is absolutely deserving of the cutest outfit and vibes!
5. GET REALLY GOOD AT SOMETHING
Nothing can distract you from romantic woes as picking up a new passion. Try an instrument that you can learn some basics on YouTube, start hooping in your living room, join a pilates megareformer studio, take yoga or CrossFit, start writing a book, join a photography club, begin a hiking tradition on Sundays, or try out knitting. I have been doing acro-yoga for the past year and I’ve created a huge passion for it. I’m going to be doing it much more now that it’s spring and it’s easy to practice outside on the grass. On top of that, I’ve started doing pilates and I’m back to bulk cooking my food to save time. It’s these little things that keep me focused on myself and my own interests.
6. MAKE A CHANGE
“Time heals all” is an age-old truth…but you know what speeds time? Change. What change can you put into action now? Paint a wall in your living room green, get that tattoo you’ve been dying for, cut your hair and dye it purple, clean out your closet, move cities, get a puppy, add smoothies into your day, join a Meetup group, make a new bestie or get a totally new look. I love making change happen when I’m going through something tough because it gives me a fresh feeling of new beginnings.
7. TAKE A TRIP
Last year after I moved out of my shared apartment with my partner, I took off to Asia for a few months. I wish everybody could do this but I know many of you are moms with responsibilities and/or that might be too intense for you to imagine doing right now. If that’s the case, I recommend doing something smaller- but still as transformative. Maybe take a mini trip to a major city close by. Book a hotel, go to the movies, get room service, spend a full day in Barnes & Noble. Want something a little more? Check out retreats where you are completely taken care of and don’t have to plan anything. Come to one of mine, or check out some international retreats by googling locations you’ve always wanted to visit. Either way, take a trip! It’s a surefire way to get you excited about life again. And who doesn’t want some more excitement?
8. GET CLOSER TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
I’m fortunate to live close to all my family, so I have been using this time to spend with them watching movies, playing pool or just hanging out. It’s a blessing. But what if you don’t have family close by? Spend some time with the people you would consider to be family. Who are your close friends? Who do you want to get to know better? Make lunch dates. Have them over for dinner. FaceTime your family as you make breakfast. Slip in as much time with those you care about as possible, especially when you feel vulnerable
9. LISTEN (OR PLAY) MUSIC
I find myself particularly drawn to music when I’m going through something tough. Music has a way to cleanse, comfort and revive the spirit. At the same time, it can sadden, anger and frustrate the soul. Whatever it is that you need to feel, there’s music that will give it to you. I become a Spotify addict when I go through a breakup, but if I was still playing music I know I’d be playing it a lot too. (Fun fact: I used to play clarinet, guitar, cello and piano!) Maybe it’s time to revisit one of these?
10. KEEP BUSY FOR AWHILE
Keep busy, love. Busyness certainly isn’t a metric for your worth, but it sure is helpful for keeping yourself from overthinking. I can turn into an overthinking monster if I give myself the time to do it. In order to keep myself from overthinking myself into a mess, I keep busy for awhile. Even if that means reading a book in a coffee shop cause I have nothing else to do, I will do that. I try to surround myself with people and energy when my own energy isn’t that satiating. Give it a go!
I hope these suggestions help you, love. If you have any that I didn’t mention, please comment and let me know below! We can all use new tools to add into our breakup toolbox!
Also, I’m proud of you. I know it’s hard. You’re going through something tough. But it WILL be worth it. You are doing what’s right for you and that never leads to being alone. That leads to finding the right person at the right time.
P.S.- Want a life-changing podcast on relationships? Listen to the episode I did with Mark Groves HERE. I’m going to be listening to it once a year, no doubt.
P.P.S- Are you attending my Confidence Revival Retreat this May? Learn more HERE.